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Updated the podcast app, now all podcasts come up as temporarily unavailable

32837 Views 94 Replies Latest reply: Feb 14, 2014 2:53 PM by Pete Andrew RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • Seananon Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    The "stop syncing, delete, then redownload" solution sounds great, but what about people who can't redownload their old podcasts?  99% of the podcasts on my computer are no longer avaialable for download, but I still have them.  It's frustrating that I can't listen to them on my phone anymore .  I can't take my computer running or driving with me.

  • INSid Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    You're exactly right. It isn't a great solution, and is only a simple workaround. Since I posted that advice, I've gone deeper into the problem.

     

    The bug seems to be this: iTunes sync has a bug where an episode that is downloaded via Podcasts.app will give an error in Podcasts.app after syncing if that episode would not have been synced from the computer (for whatever reason) AND the podcast had not been played at all in Podcasts.app. That's convoluted, but I tested it this way:

     

    1. Delete all podcasts in Podcasts.app
    2. Set up iTunes sync to sync Podcasts and "automatically include one most recent episode".
    3. Sync with iTunes
    4. Go to Podcasts.app
    5. Open a podcast
    6. Download an episode *prior to the one already in the app* through "Add Old Episodes" button.
    7. Don't play the episode at all once downloaded.
    8. Sync with iTunes
    9. After sync, attempt to play the downloaded episode.
    10. Episode will give error.
    11. Digging around the iPhone with iExplorer reveals that - despite the app giving the appearance of episodes on the device - the episodes have been deleted, and all that remains are album art and PLIST files.

     

    If you play the downloaded episode *even for a few seconds*, then I found that the error won't arise. By "played" I don't mean listed as "played" or partially played (those blue dots). I mean actually listened to a few seconds of it after it was added to the device.

     

    I've tried a few variations on the above test, and they all point to the same issue. Anyone willing to take/waste the time to replicate would be welcome.

     

    I'm trying to think how the error might happen practically and accidentally. Three scenarios come to mind:

     

    1. If we had "automatically include X most recent episode(s)" as the default sync behavior but downloaded an entire podcast series on the iPhone, then after a sync, all but X number of most recent episodes would give the error.
    2. Or if you subscribed to a podcast through the app and in iTunes but didn't tell iTunes to sync it due to wanting to manually sync podcasts, then it will throw up the error.
    3. Or if you let a podcast sit for awhile unlisted so that it stops automatically updating in iTunes, then add an episode on the phone, don't listen to it, and then sync, then Podcasts will give you an error when you try to go back and listen to it.

     

    Simplest ways to get around this:

    1. Turn off Podcast sync entirely in iTunes under the Device tab (instructions given in earlier comment). Use iCloud alone (this syncs subscriptions alone apparently and no other information).
    2. Or turn off subscription sync in the Podcasts app by going to the app's settings in "Settings" in iOS, and don't download podcasts directly to the app. Use the app basically as a way to listen to things synced from your computer (like the old days).
    3. Sync absolutely everything via iTunes and keep iCloud subscription sync on. *Make sure that you keep subscriptions current in iTunes.*
    4. As soon as you download ANYTHING in Podcasts, play it for a few seconds before syncing to the computer.

     

    Still complicated, and a serious pain. The only real solution is Apple fix this bug in either iTunes, Podcasts, iCloud or all three.

     

    But those are some workarounds. Hope this helps.

     

    Message was edited by: INSid

  • Powers45 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have the same problem.  Pretty much have tried everything to get my podcasts to work; however, no luck.  The application seems to have crashed.  A bit surprised that Apple has not fixed or commented on this problem yet.  The more Apple updates their applications, the worse it gets.  I switched to Apple products to get away from the problems that other smart phones using a Windows product had.  For the first time I'm looking away from Apple products for something more reliable.  Android, here I come....

  • Luv2Go Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Based on info from INSid above, I have gotten my podcasts to work again. I used to update most of my podcasts on my computer, but I had one that was updating on my phone AND computer. I deleted all the podcasts off the phone (podcast.app) and on my Device in iTunes (the greyed out ones, NOT the originals). Deleted the podcast that was being updated in both places off my computer. Uninstalled the podcast app. Rebooted phone and computer for good measure. Synced. and Voila! They load onto the phone again!!! I reinstalled podcast.app, listened to some, re-synced and everything is fine.

     

    So I think my problem was trying to subscribe to the same podcast on my phone and on my computer. I have not tried subscribing to one on the phone and the rest on the computer. I will try that tonight when I have time to recover if it doesn't work.

  • costibizzle Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    So I think my problem was trying to subscribe to the same podcast on my phone and on my computer. I have not tried subscribing to one on the phone and the rest on the computer. I will try that tonight when I have time to recover if it doesn't work.

     

    This runs me into another roadblock - Podcasts.app has yet to support authenticated podcast feeds (i.e. feeds that require a username/password for subscription reasons). So even if I disabled podcast syncing with iTunes for Mac and only synced via iCloud, I could never get those authenticated feeds/episodes on my phone.

  • INSid Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    costibizzle wrote:

     

     

    So I think my problem was trying to subscribe to the same podcast on my phone and on my computer. I have not tried subscribing to one on the phone and the rest on the computer. I will try that tonight when I have time to recover if it doesn't work.

     

     

    This runs me into another roadblock - Podcasts.app has yet to support authenticated podcast feeds (i.e. feeds that require a username/password for subscription reasons). So even if I disabled podcast syncing with iTunes for Mac and only synced via iCloud, I could never get those authenticated feeds/episodes on my phone.

     

    There are other workarounds that I listed in my comment above.

     

    I'm - so far - having no problems after choosing to sync everything between my computer and iPhone (you must first - of course - remove and podcasts that were giving you the error to begin with).

     

    You could also disable the automatic downloading feature within the Podcasts app itself, and choose to only add Podcasts to the phone via iTunes.

     

    EDIT: To disable automatic downloading, go to "Settings"->"Podcast"->"Auto-Downloads"->"Off"

  • dahliared Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have tried every tip offered on this thread and none have worked for me. I'm dismayed that this isn't being fixed, and at the lack of commentary by the Mac folks here. I use my iPhone more for listening to podcasts than for any other function, so this issue is really inconvenient.

  • dahliared Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    The new problem is that I made a new music playlist, have tried to sync it twice and both times it's not there after the sync. I tried to make a playlist directly from the iPhone and it won't let me add songs. What a train wreck!

  • athomms Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Crazy CRAZY complicated on something that should be automated.

     

    Totally agree: The only real solution is Apple fix this bug in either iTunes, Podcasts, iCloud or all three.

     

    Ever since they separated out the Podcast app it seems to be a disaster.

  • adamcx Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    The podcast app is such a headache - either it erases episodes I haven't listened to, or it re-sets play counts, or re-downloads episodes already deleted.   I've had to spend so much time fixing something that should "just work".  Reminds me of when I had Windows ME and I had to figure out workarounds for everything.

  • psynixis Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    The only workaround to this problem that I've found that seems to *always* work, is to:

     

    • Delete the affected podcast episode from within the Podcasts app
    • Add the episode back as an old episode
    • Listen immediately (in case it gets randomly deleted, or goes back to being unplayable)

     

    Clearly, that's not any kind of solution, and indeed it's only a temporary fix because podcasts can (and do) become unplayable again. It does allows you to listen to new podcasts when you need to, though. This problem, and related ones, are clearly due to software bugs (client and server side). Until Apple fixes these, I doubt that the problem is resolvable.

  • Pierre Dome Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I was having the same problem.

    I just went into General settings on my iPod, under the Podcast app, and changed the setting "Update" to "Manually". All the other settings were already de-activated and that did the trick !

     

    For some reason it started to re-download all my music from iTunes to the iPod, but now I can listen again to all the podcasts that I had in my iTunes.

  • Phil Baxter Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    I've run into this error too, and haven't managed to find a solution. It's too bad, as the Apple podcasts app is actually quite pretty now , which is such a dramatic turnaround from the monstrosity that was version 1.

     

    I would recommend people just use one of the plethora of third party podcast apps in iOS. I use Downcast, which has iCloud sync and a Mac client too. It's not quite as pretty as Apple's effort, but at least it works.

  • NewMacMiniUser Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have the same problem. Apple needs to fix this.

  • gareeee Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    This is ridiculous.  It's been weeks and no fix yet from Apple.  I haven't found a podcast app that is nearly as good as Apple's used to be! 

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